The Raging Servant line of spells : the famous gargoyle.
The Raging Servant line of spells starts with the Depths of Darkhollow expansion (It will be your level 70 spell mission reward). It summons a secondary gargoyle model pet which is high hp, high taunt and high dps. It is probably the most impacting line of spells regarding mage play as it changes, and for the good, the play style of the class. Keep your highest level gargoyle « R….. Servant » always memorized, you won’t regret it despite its high mana cost (1650 mana for the DoD one). It’s useful in all situations : solo, group and raid.
1. What spell ?
Each expansion with a level increase, you’ll get your new RS line gargoyle summoning spell. Raging Servant in DoD, Rampaging Servant in TBS (no upgrade in TSS), Rancorous Servant in SoF, Rumbling Servant in SoD, and so on...
Basically, it summons a gargoyle for 18 seconds which will relentlessly attack your target and make 1 point of poison damage on cast (can break mez, beware !) ; during the « middle eras » DoD to SoD/UF, its casting time will be 3 seconds (2 seconds with your best detrimental spell haste, 1.8 second if you add cleric spell haste) and the refresh timer will be 18 seconds. In your spell book, the gargoyle is classified as Pet Swarm type. All RS pets are affected by pet foci (as are Host of Elements swarm pets). The pet aura works on them (idem). Pet AAs supposedly too. It enrages at low health, and you want it to enrage, it is even higher dps.
Starting with TBS, the ranked spell system will apply : at rank I, the gargoyle will last 18 seconds, at rank II 20 seconds, and at rank III 22 seconds. This means starting with rank II you can keep a gargoyle up, if your mana pool allows it, without interruption. In later expansions, you will also have foci on our end tier class robe (both group and raid) which increase by 1 or 2 seconds the life span of the gargoyle. Underfoot will have two AA lines which extend again the life span of the gargoyle and shorten its recast timer, but only for the in-era one (the Rumbling Servant, level 85 spell). The spell is obtainable at your maximum in era level (70,75, 80, 85…)
Note : on progression servers which have faster expansion unlocks as the live servers, the robe foci and Servant extension/refresh AAs might be less useful as they apply only to your current era gargoyle, therefore the effort or xp invested might not be worth it as you will outlevel them quickly and get your next rank of RS pet spell much quicker as on live.
2. How does it change the life of a mage and impact his gameplay ?
Simple answer : although it is also a dps tool, this spell is used by mages primarily as a crowd control tool or as a tanking tool. Mages are not helpless anymore when they get jumped by an add. To be honest, they were not totally helpless before and you already know that if you have read some of the pet related threads in this very forum.
Note : on progression servers, the Raging Servant line of spells will replace the two Kunark « swarm » pets (Dyzil’s Deafening Decoy and Rage of Zomm) mages could use from 2016 onwards as secondary pets, see this article for more info. But these were quite weak in comparison to the gargoyle and of some use only from Kunark to LDoN era.
• The gargoyle pet is high dps
The gargoyle, unlike its distant predecessors DDD and Rage of Zomm, is by far the highest dps pet of all your pets. It will have higher min/max/crit melee hits than any pet except high critical backstabs from a water pet.
To give you a simple example, a SoF era gargoyle (Rancorous Servant), with two different pet foci (the TSS era pet raid focus ‘Servitor of Scale’ and the SoF raid tier 2 one ‘Enhanced Minion III’, more on pet foci here and here), hits for :
- Min normal hit 296/310
- Max normal hit 860/951
- Min critical hit 498/592
- Max critical hit 1723/1908
It doesn’t really makes sense to compare directly these values to those of the regular pets because regular pets fight all the time and, regarding more specifically the water pet, our usual raid pet, activated AA like Frenzied Burnout or activated clickies (Anguish robe) will boost the dps significantly for a short amount of time, ideally on boss fights.
It’s also difficult to calculate average dps values due to its short lifespan, but for the duration of the spell it parses at 1k dps in SoF era (whereas our everyday air pet is 300-500ish ; our water pet can reach 1k, but again, under ideal circumstances and activated FBO AA). A raid equipped SoF mage using all AAs (especially maxed out FBO and Heart of Skyfire) will break the 4k dps mark – all in all- on favorable boss fights, to give you a dps frame and the relative weight of the gargoyle’s part in it.
It is common to cast a gargoyle on a Gift of Mana proc as a « free » dps boost. On raids this is a nice dps boost, but if your mana pool allows it, you will want to chain gargoyles (in addition to the usual activated dps AAs) when a BURN is called. However, again due to the short life spawn, the RS line is more efficient dpswise if you are close to the target : the time spent to reach the target from where the summoner stands is zero dps – but on raids, it is not always possible to stand close to the boss mob.
--> A part of the mage’s dps comes from his gargoyle in addition to his nukes (and the water pet under FBO and/or Anguish robe clicky). The Raging Servant line is required on BURN calls, if mana permits, you should chain gargoyles on BURN in addition to nuking.
• The gargoyle pet is high hps and high taunt.
The impact of the RS line of spells is essential on the group and solo mage because it is a life saver and also acts as a « pet protector ».
- Offtanking an add : this is probably what impacted the most mages since DoD. The gagrgoyle offers a good ‘ghetto mez’ solution when you have an add or when you double pull. It often works even if the add jumped you due to its short casting time : most of the time, you’ll channel it through. Therefore, it gives mages some form of crowd control. The gargoyle has enough hit points to tank an add and to damage it seriously during its life span, especially on enrage. It is pretty high taunt too, allowing you to use it to snap aggro when required, although the air pet is the master at it.
Darkenr collected some data in SoD era to evaluate the amount of hit points our pets have and how pet foci scaled those (see this thread for more info). The gargoyle pet has more hps than our regular tank pet, the Earth pet. Using his data, we have following min and max values for SoD pets : the Earth pet goes from 19.347 hps (unfocused, level 80) to 26.702 hps (EM VIII, level 84). The gargoyle, however, goes from 24.448 hps (unfocused, level 85) to 49.143 hps (EM VIII, level 85) !
As you can see, it has some tank capacity. You may also have noticed that the gargoyle is level 85 whatever pet focus the summoner has. This is true for all gargoyles, they are, unless our regular pets, always the level of the conjuring spell. The level advantage helps tanking too. However, don’t forget that once the gargoyle has lived its short life, it also leaves the mob’s hate list and you better make sure not to be next in line. Your regular pet should be second on hate list.
--> If you are jumped by an add (mob B) while pet tanks your initial target (mob A), channel a gargoyle on that add, followed by a quick tag with the regular pet (switch from A to B). Resend your regular pet on the main mob (back to mob A). That way, you won’t get aggro when the gargoyle’s life span expires after 18/20/22 seconds. Do NOT nuke the add.
--> If you know you will have a double pull, open your pull with the Servant line on mob B. Send regular pet on mob A. Normally you shouldn’t even need to tag mob B with your regular pet as mob B will turn on pet once the gargoyle is gone due to assist aggro. Rinse and repeat, do NOT mix up your targets (try to differentiate the ‘gargoyle’ mob B and the ‘pet’ mob A), do NOT nuke the ‘gargoyle’ mob B.
- Assisting your regular pet : share the aggro and the damage between the gargoyle and your regular pet. The other way to use the Raging Servant line of pets is to use them to assist your pet on harder hitting mobs (nameds…). The idea is to release some of the dps pressure and take a few hits instead of your regular pet, which has less hps, remember. However, your regular pet will build aggro the more time passes which will make it harder for a new gargoyle to grab aggro over your regular pet.
--> On nameds, open your pull with RS pet. Tag named with regular pet then switch to Pet Stop mode. Resume fighting (‘destop’ your regular pet) when gargoyle poofes or dies. Rinse and repeat : send a fresh gargoyle, wait the gargoyle grabs aggro over regular pet, Pet Stop your regular pet. That way, your regular pet will build aggro slower as if you would let it fight all the way long and the gargoyle will tank longer and have it easier to snap aggro over your regular pet. You can turn Taunt off for this to work the best, but nuke only at the very end of the fight. From Underfoot era on, you can also use the pet fade AA (Drape of Shadows) in the same logic (make the mob stick the more you can on the gargoyle instead of the regular pet).
The Raging Servant line of spells is, simply put, a game changer for mages.